Baltic Olympic Committees want enforcement procedure from IOC on Russian athletes at Games

  • 2023-12-19
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The national Olympic committees of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have sent a joint letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in which they express their disagreement with the decision to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and stress the utmost importance of a competent and comprehensible enforcement procedure for the decision that athletes from these countries can compete in the Olympics only as individual neutral athletes (AINs). 

The Baltic Olympic committees say they strongly believe that the decision to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to the Olympics is unacceptable while active warfare is ongoing in Ukraine and civilian population is suffering from the war crimes carried out by Russia and supported by Belarus.

"Together with our friends we mourn the loss of more than 350 Ukrainian athletes killed in the invasion, as well as try to support the ones left without necessary infrastructure and means to prepare for the Olympic Games Paris2024," the three national Olympic committees say.

They say they do understand that their opinion is not shared universally and accept the plurality of viewpoints that has led to the decision as it stands, yet in such a case even more so, they find it necessary to stress the "utmost importance of competent, transparent, accountable, fair and

comprehensible enforcement procedure for the mentioned decision, to maintain the credibility of the ones that have taken it, as well as any organizations and individuals that will comply with it."

In order to attain this, the Baltic national Olympic committees urge, as soon as possible, to communicate to the national Olympic committees and

broader public a technical document, should there be any, or an extensive procedural description that will be used to evaluate the eligibility of single AINs before the Olympic Games and monitor the situation afterwards, to exclude any features of ineligibility or inappropriate behavior, be those carried out by the athletes or their state authorities.

"One incident would be sufficient to turn the Olympic Games into a war support platform. Let's make sure this does not happen," the Baltic Olympic committees say.